On May 29, the Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA) tender committee has selected a manager for Mezhyhiria. The winner is TOV Skompani, with SP Haianskyi and CSO National Park of Ukraine Mezhyhiria left behind. The latter is tasked with managing Mezhyhiria at the moment.

“This is just going around in circles. On the one hand, the Ukrainian legislation and the criteria used by the ARMA tender committee do not stipulate the verification of  potential managers for integrity or cooperation with certain political forces. On the other hand, working with sensitive or toxic assets, the winner should not have red flags in their biography, for instances, things like anti-Ukrainian activity,” said Head of Legal Kateryna Ryzhenko.

Recall that the assets in question are movable and immovable property in the village of Novi Petrivtsi in the Vyshhorodskyi area which were transferred to the Agency based on the rulings of Pecherskyi District Court of Kyiv. The new manager will take care of Mezhyhiria until the Obolonskyi District Court and the Kyiv Appeals Court make a decision concerning former president Yanukovych, the previous resident of Mezhyhiria who fled Ukraine in 2014.

Recently, a round table about problematic aspects of ARMA’s activity has taken place. Among other things, experts have touched upon the issue of technologically complex assets, including Mezhyhiria. Head of Special Investigations Department Serhii Horbatiuk, whose department was behind transfer of Mezhyhiria under the management of the ARMA, expressed an interesting idea:

“Creation of the ARMA is positive. A lot of issues connected with seizure, maintenance, preservation of the property until the court renders a verdict have been assigned to a specialized agency, which means that both the investigator and the prosecutor can focus on their respective tasks in a criminal proceeding. But I believe the strategy of maintenance of seized property should be somewhat different. Maintenance of such property should be financed without consideration of the profit, but instead with consideration of the historic value, or some other peculiarities of this property. This includes Mezhyhiria, too.”

More recommendations can be found on the website.

This publication has been prepared with the financial support of the European Union. Its content is the sole responsibility of Transparency International Ukraine and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

Working with sensitive or toxic assets, the winner should not have red flags in their biography, for instances, things like anti-Ukrainian activity.

Kateryna Ryzhenko, Head of Legal, TI Ukraine